Gosh, the time goes doesn’t it? I think about when I used to blog every day and sometimes held myself back from posting multiple times a day so’s not to exhaust the good folk who read it. Because of that I understand the appeal of Twitter and Insta – on those platforms you can basically live-stream your entire day and not be accused of overdoing things. Me? I simply don’t have that much to say anymore.
No. More accurately I have less need to say things these days.
This doesn’t mean I’ve given up being passionate about issues, in some ways I am more passionate because I am surer of myself. There IS a bottom line when it comes to decency and commonsense and what’s just fricken right. And those who quibble and prevaricate and justify and indulge in the cognitive dissonance of Trumpery, flat-earthing, science denying, of (my) God hates gay people, Jews, birth control, high school girls’ bare shoulders, etc, etc gah! I have no patience.
But I’ve also gotten old/wise/tired enough not to spend my energy on fruitless pursuits. Rather than argue with the recalcitrant and entrenched I go about dropping kindness bombs. And nuggets of thought that don’t immediately blow up into pugnacious postures and heated defenses of the indefensible. But rather they are a slow burn that ignites long after I’ve gone.
I was paid a wonderful compliment this week and it’s a good example of how I choose to live these days.
One of the young women who works the customer service desk (complaint central) interviewed for and got a job in her field. Kay spent three years getting her nursing degree with a specialty in cardiac issues. (I live with a young person who is working his way through school and know it’s NOT easy.) I was delighted for Kay that she’d landed a job in the cardiac department of a huge hospital-affiliated practice. Sorry to lose her good humor and smiling face at the store, but YAY! for those people who’d be soon getting her kind care. I congratulated Kay and told her how proud I was. Her future patients are well served. Anyone who’s dealt with the B.S. of the customer service was qualified for patient care, absolutely. I encouraged her to worry less about being textbook and to think more about emotional support. Cardiac patients are SCARED! And a kind word, a comforting hug, and a willing ear to just listen as they barf up all their fear will be the best thing she can do. Meds and procedures and tests, yeah, okay, but someone who is willing to be still for a couple minutes and look patients in the eye and acknowledge them? Priceless. That’s not medicine, that’s healing.
Kay said she’d try. I gave her a hug, said I’d miss her, but that she WILL be great in her new position.
A couple days later I had a few minutes to burn at the time clock and was shooting the shit with Nicky. “LA! Ever since my mom passed you’re like the first person I want to tell good news to. Or even talk to when shit goes down. What you said to Kay was so nice!”
I smiled and told Nicky I wasn’t trying to be ‘nice’, but to to tell the truth and say what I’d wished someone had said to me.
Kindness costs nothing and yet is a priceless gift.
I feel like I’ve finally made it out of Dysfunction Junction, you know? I grew up under the insane rule of a shaky queen. She had so little self-esteem that empathy, sympathy, or even the tiniest bit of care was ‘losing’. Life to her was a finite jar of jam and anything that took a bit from that jar meant there was less for her. And also proved how unworthy she was of getting any at all. So the only way to be allowed happiness was to step on the necks of anyone who might get to that jar before her. Most especially her own children. Sick, right?
Nowadays my life jar is infinite. It refills itself by being taken from. Yet I am not a perfect person. I have my small, mean, and selfish moments. I doubt whether I’m allowed this thing or that. I get angry at those who don’t play fair. The selfish and stupid among us piss me off and I want to punish them. No saint here, that’s for sure. But I try. I try to open even when my ouchie places yammer at me to close up and protect. I try to be patient. I try to understand. I try to let go and honestly believe it doesn’t matter if others don’t/won’t listen to truth, right is right regardless of the poll numbers.
This week has been very, very hard. Most of you have known me long enough to have a fair idea of the abuses and terrors foisted on me by men and their dicks and (worse) their egos. And how little justice I’ve gotten (ZERO). My physical self has been raped, groped, manhandled, pinched, prodded, swiped at, sodomized, mocked, intruded upon, beaten, stuffed, shoved, stripped, fondled, teased, had my hair pulled, my bra straps snapped, my underwear wedgied, my nipples tweaked, and every single time I objected to it I was mocked, fired from my job, laughed at, scolded, and told to ‘grow the fuck up’.
This week has been very, very, VERY hard.
And yet I refuse to recant. Kindness can and will be the deliverance of us as a species.
You don’t have to prove you’re right. What you have to do is walk the walk, talk the talk, and just fricken BE THERE. Be the friend you needed when you were sad and alone. Be the sane voice in a sea of insanity. Be the stalwart in a shaky world. It costs NOTHING to do the decent honorable thing.
Of course I get angry. Shit, more often than I care to admit. Anger does have its place as a motivator, but I walk a different path now. What I strive to be is the warm place, the safe landing, the smile and unbegrudging thumb’s up in a world that seems to punish the successful and happy far too often. I try to give back what I ached for when I was alone. Yes, I understand not every situation can be solved the same way, but I can and DO offer up what I have.
There have been a lot of strident italics and bolds and all caps in this entry. I apologize for shouting, it’s simply that I feel strongly about this.
I am one person. I do not have wealth. Or power. Or influence beyond my circle of friends. Yet I believe what I have to offer matters. The lessons I’ve learned through pain and neglect and betrayal and cruelty and indifference, those hurts made me stronger and wiser. You have to work with what ya got.
Much love, as always, ~LA